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Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo

The Complete Set

You surprise me by your phrase, “between inspired jolts”, for most of the poems have been written by halves, quarters, with some intervals and many attempts in between. That is why I can't look upon a poem as having any worth.

Well, if that is not writing by “inspired jolts”, what is?

The worth of a poem depends on what has come out, not on the way in which it has come out.

But since a bad habit has been formed, it has to be dissolved. But how? Doctors, you know, are often failures specially in treating themselves. Please, then, prescribe a remedy. It is queer that you write a few lines in no time and the rest perhaps at no time!

This is too cryptic for me. I may say however that inspiration for poetry is always an uncertain thing (except for a phenomenon like H). Sometimes it comes in a rush, sometimes one has to labour for days to get a poem right, sometimes it does not come at all. Besides each poet is treated by the Muse in a different way.

It is proposed to include my poems in an Ashram Anthology of Bengali poems. But won't my work look pale and anaemic beside Nishikanta's, all splendour and glow?

No. Besides, there must always be varieties in an anthology which is like a museum or a botanical collection. So a modestum Nirodicum inside will do no harm even beside a flaminga Nishikantica.


1935 08 24 Exact Writting Letter Nirodbaran